Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Our boy's room - Phase I

As mentioned before, we wanted to replace the flooring in the living room and in our boy's room, since the smell was pretty awful in those particular rooms. No amount of cleaning or use of products helped, as we later discovered that dog wee had basically pooled on the underlay. So, the only way was really to get rid of the carpets (and underlay, of course!). Downstairs, we wanted laminate flooring, not only in the living, but in the hallway too and in our toddler's room a new carpet. We tried to decorate all these areas before the floors were due to be replaced, but by the time we finished painting the living room, we realised we weren't going to have time to do it all, so we chose to decorate the bedroom and leave the hallway for a while. I thought cleaning paint from a carpet would be much harder that from laminate, should there be any accidents - which there probably would be (have I mentioned I have the clumsy gene?).

Anyway, I plan to decorate my son's room, so that hopefully it's fun, but not too kiddy-ish. But, I haven't yet decided what colours and furnishings to go for and a consultation with the room's occupier proved fruitless. So, for now we're just blank-canvassing it with white (magnolia, be gone!).

I started, as usual, by removing nails, screws, wall plugs and also the pelmet (hence the line above the window) and filling holes and cracks, including one long crack across the ceiling.

Once all filled and bumpy areas were sanded, we got painting. We painted the ceiling, walls, radiator and woodwork (except the doors). The walls and ceiling needed about 3 coats for an even finish, but, the radiator only needed a couple of coats and the woodwork 1. All the doors upstairs will eventually be replaced, so I didn't waste any time painting these, although I plan to paint the front of the cupboard doors in my son's room in chalkboard black. I'm sure he'll enjoy drawing on them and they too can be replaced later if he wishes to do so.

It was a rush to get the painting in here all done before the new carpet was installed, but we managed. We decided to go with a light gray carpet (which will eventually be installed in all the bedrooms), as we feel is neutral enough to complement lots of other colours and it definitely goes with our base colour scheme for the house (white, gray and black). Here are the befores and afters:

It's not a massive difference as the room was light anyway, but it feels (and smells!!!) fresher and it's the perfect basis for making it (hopefully) a great boy's room for my son.

Here's what is left to do here - although things might get added/changed as the plans become more concrete:
- chalkboard paint cupboard doors
- feature wall - maybe stripes or a mural
- lampshade
- curtains and soft furnishings
- storage (bookcase or bench)
- desk (my son's nearly 3, so he probably won't need to use it - for studying - until he starts school next year, but we need something in there that doubles as bedside storage)
- pictures/wall art
- replace door

I can't wait to bring in some colour into this room and hopefully my son will like the end result!

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Living room - mostly done!

The plans for the rest of the living room included finishing painting the rest of the walls and wood work, but now the pressure to finish it off was on as we decided we couldn't live with the dog smell on the carpets any longer. So, I went and booked the floor fitting which left us about 10 days to decorate not only the living room, but the hallway (as we wanted the same laminate floor in there and in the living room) and our son's bedroom too (smell was quite bad in there too!)! Yikes! This would have been fine and I would have enjoyed doing this, if it hadn't been for the fact that it's hard to find the time to fit it all in - it did take me about 3 days to do that one wall in the living room! So, all steam ahead! We would just have to not clean, eat or sleep for the next 10 days...

By the way, these two where the final laminate flooring contenders:

We decided to go with the one on the left (Lifestyle Chelsea Traditionl Oak), as we wanted something that looked nice with the grey walls, but that it wasn't grey itself. Also, should we one day decide to change the colour scheme, I think this floor colour is more flexible, in terms of matching/complementing other colours.

So, this is how it all went down in the living room (Note: this process took about a week, but here's it all summarised in one post for you!):

First, I removed the flowery wallpaper above - actually done before booking the floor fitters and actually didn't take too long. I was so anxious to get rid of it, that I lifted a little corner and peeled... then carried on peeling until all the top layer was gone:

Then, I thought I might need to steam the rest of the wallpaper and scrape it of, but decided to look online for ideas before I did anything else. I'm glad I did, because I found out I could just wet with a cloth or sponge and remove what was left of the paper with minimal effort. So, I tried it...

... and it worked! See where the first to columns of wallpaper used to be?

I just had to make sure I let the water soak through the paper for a few minutes, but that I removed it while it was still wet. Before I knew it, the whole wall was done!

 There was just a little bit of adhesive left here and there which I cleaned off using a sponge with a solution of warm water and vinegar (great suggestion also found online). I then let the wall dry overnight and it was ready to be painted!

In meantime, I sanded the rest of the walls, where wall plugs and nails had been removed and holes and cracks filled. I then started to paint the side walls:

Oops! I had to clean and touch up the already painted grey wall as I got a little over excited with the brush and roller on the corners there... But, all good! While I was at it I "fixed" the coving where our straight line along the edge of the wall wasn't so straight...

It took 3 coats to get good coverage on these two walls, so I painted the woodwork (except door - to be removed and painted outside when the weather is better) between coats. I used Dulux Satinwood in Brilliant White, as I prefer a less shiny finish (compared to gloss).

I also removed radiator from the wall (with hubby's help)...

... which I then cleaned and painted:

Finally, I painted last wall gray (had to let white wall cure for a few days to use painter's tape), which thankfully only needed one coat.

I also painted the wooden step (or windowsill) white - although it still needs another coat or two:

So, this is what the (almost) final product looks like:

I'm loving this space more and more! And we're almost there - here's our To Do list with two more items added to it:

 - Remove curtains and poles

 - Remove screw plugholes and nails
 - Fill holes and cracks on walls and door frame
 - Paint/line fireplace
 - Spray paint clock
 - Remove wall paper
 - Clean off wallpaper adhesive
 - Paint walls  (decided on 2 gray and 2 white)
 - Paint radiator
 - Paint coving
 - Paint skirting boards
 - Paint door and frame - Painted part of the frame, but found a hole where the previous door furniture used to be, which was filled and is ready for sanding and painting
 - Paint wooden boards by doors and window to conservatory - Started
 - Remove gas pipe (for fireplace) - From floor, ready for floor fitting. The bit on the wall will have to wait until we replace the fireplace
 - Get new lampshade - Ordered this
 - Get floor/wall lamp? - Still not sure about this...
 - Fit skirting board by window to conservatory
 - Replace flooring
 - Get new sofas
 - Put art/photos on walls
 - Decide what to do with alcove to the left of the fireplace (shelves, sideboard, plant,...)